It seems that no sooner does a woman get pregnant than she is inundated with pregnancy advice from practically anyone she meets: those who are a veteran of many deliveries as well as those who have no experience of pregnancy.
So a woman may well be confused with the amount of pregnancy suggestions that she gets; wondering what to follow and what to dismiss.
We look at some of the common bits of pregnancy advice that a pregnant woman is likely to get, and try and sort out the fact from the fiction:
You must avoid pregnancy during your ‘confinement’ – This one you should certainly ignore unless you have a medical reason that forbids physical activity in pregnancy.
Earlier it was thought that exercise was not good for the mother and the unborn child and the mother was ‘confined’ to the home and restricted from various activities.
We now know that exercise is not only for allowed pregnant women, it is actually recommended for maintaining good health, easing labor and delivery as well as for the future good health of the baby.
Eat fish to have a smarter baby – Pregnancy advice to eat fish during pregnancy is sound and experts advise that fish such as salmon, should be had a couple of times a week. While this may not mean that your baby will go on to become a little genius, it is good for mother’s health and baby’s development.
The concerns that women may have of contamination found in fish is generally unfounded so long as fish such as king mackerel, tile fish shark and swordfish (known to have higher levels of mercury) are avoided. Shrimp, salmon, light tuna, catfish and Pollack are OK to have because the benefits outweigh possible risks.
Stay away from computers and microwaves during pregnancy – This pregnancy advice errs on the side of caution, but there is really no reason to follow it.
There is nothing to show that microwaves are responsible for any kind of harmful radiation, nor that they can in any way harm an unborn child.
Even the apprehension that radiation from a computer monitor can be harmful is an unfounded one. The risk now is even lower than earlier, with most of us having switched to LCD monitors from the old-fashioned CRT ones.
Air travel during pregnancy is a no-no – There is no embargo on pregnant women flying, unless some airlines have certain policies that forbid such travel after certain months of gestation. There is nothing about flying or cabin air pressure that threatens a pregnancy. The one piece of pregnancy advice women should follow about air travel is to get up and walk around a bit in flights longer than one hour. This is to lower risk of blood clots due to large periods of immobility.
Keep away from pets during pregnancy – Unless pregnant women have or develop an allergy to pets this bit of pregnancy advice is probably unnecessary to follow. However it is advisable for women to avoid handling the cat’s litter box during this time.